<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Bryan Singer. Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Fan Bingbing, Daniel Cudmore, Evan Peters, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Josh Helman
Old and new fuse into one grand opus, merging past and future to find out which one will affect the present. X-Men Days of Future Past is a mature superhero film that has some great acting powers going for it.
Travelling back and forth in time is a concept that has been well used in the Star Trek universe, a nod that X-Men DOFP gives with a not-so-subtle clip from the original Star Trek series used in one of the scenes in the film.
X-Men First Class gave us a look back at the origins of the X-Men and we were quite happy since the cast list included the acting talent of Michael Fassbender who already has the magnetic personality to move audiences without his metal-bending Magneto abilities.
X-Men Days of Future Past starts off in a dark and daunting future where the world has seen a new war against the mutants ravage it. Adaptive Sentinels have caused the extinction of mutants and now only a handful remains to try and find a way to stop them. The answer is using Kitty Pryde’s (Ellen Page) powers to flit between times to go back in the past and alter it so that Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) can’t be used by Dr Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) to create the Sentinels.
Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) is chosen to go back in time by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) and bring together their younger selves: Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) to stop this apocalyptic moment in time.
Okay, so the plot does seem a bit complex and some of it you won’t follow but then suspension of disbelief for films like this is a given. Bryan Singer manages to tightly hold together the two timelines that play out simultaneously – with the past having more screen time, of course – so that you’re never wondering what the hell is going on.
What’s great about the new X-Men films is that you see the dark side of these mutants. They’re not flag waving Avengers nor are they do-gooders from the Justice League. They’re all shades of grey, sometimes breaking the law, like the Flash-type mutant Quicksilver (Evan Peters) whose scene inside the Pentagon while breaking Magneto out of jail is the scene of the film. You’ll laugh and clap and hope to see more of this teenager with a wicked sense of humour and an innocent playfulness that could be a welcome addition to the mutant gang.
Michael Fassbender’s powerhouse performance alone is enough reason to watch this film. That tension-ridden, tumultuous relationship with James McAvoy’s Professor X is far more riveting than any romantic relationship (including Wolverine’s with Jean Grey).
Sure some of the action sequences do go over the top but hey, it’s an X-Men film. The humour is edgy and the characters are all fun, if a bit flawed. My only gripe is that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen weren’t given too much screen time and Halle Berry as Storm is practically a cameo. But then it is sort of passing the baton to the past, which will take the franchise into the future. Or is it?
Yes there is a bonus scene at the end. But you’ll have to wait till the end credits finish. And then you’ll be like, “What? Who’s that?” If you look in the background you may find a clue that could be interpreted in an apocalyptic way…
X-Men Days of Future Past is a fun film with lots of interesting characters and some great performances.